20 July 2012

The Computer Said No.

The decision after my work capability assessment came back remarkably quickly, I received it on Wednesday. I have been turned down for ESA as I was only awarded 6 points and you need 15 points to receive it.  My next payment of Income Support will be my last.

I was very shocked by this as I expected to be put in the "work related activity group"  (WRAG) at least, and still receive ESA at a reduced rate for a year and have to attend work focused interviews etc.  But they have apparently denied my illness altogether almost and said I can't even receive ESA at all. I really wish I had recorded the assessment now as she has not recorded what I said and has failed to award me points accordingly. 

I am of course appealing their decision and have an appointment with citizens advice next week, I'm going to have to get a sick note from my doctor too and attempt to claim ESA while I wait for my appeal to be heard.

I went to the doctor yesterday on an emergency appointment to get more antidepressants and sleeping pills as I bloody need them now obviously, my illness has got dramatically worse since hearing this and realising I'm going to have to go before a tribunal and face uncertainty while I wait for that. I have to start my appeal before I can ask to receive ESA while I wait for the tribunal, I don't know if they can turn down my claiming ESA while I wait either as if they do I'm screwed.

 I can't claim Job Seekers allowance there is no way I could meet the criteria necessary to do it, and cope with going to sign on once a fortnight and face the meeting with an advisor. If my benefits stop altogether I could lose housing benefit which will put my home in jeopardy too, I've been advised to just keep in touch with the housing benefit people while it all gets sorted out and hopefully my rent won't stop.


coffeecup said...

Hi, just had to comment because I feel for you having just been through this awful process myself. If you appeal and send in sick notes from your doctor you should be entitled to the basic rate of ESA which is the same as JSA. It might not be that you have to go to a tribunal, and hopefully the DWP will reconsider their decision in your favour first. I'm not sure if you have to request them to do this, or if they'll do it anyway. At least you have a prompt appointment with the CAB. I had to wait months to see someone because they're so overwhelmed where I live. It's a lot of unnecessary stress, fear and worry. This assessment process is a national disgrace. How can it be that 0.3% of incapacity benefit claimants are genuine and yet 37% of people reassessed for ESA are found fit for work. It's clearly an cynical and arbitrary cost cutting policy and nothing to do with helping sick people towards work.

I send you my best wishes and hope the CAB will help and it all works out. Remember, 80% of appeals with representation are successful. Never give up hope! x

Nancy Farrell said...

Thanks for the support, it does just seem like a very crude cost cutting measure. They are chucking everyone off and seeing what they are left with once the appeals have been heard. It's disgraceful and the stress alone has killed people already and been a contributing factor in suicides. I think in the future they will look back on this as a huge scandal and there will be big enquiry.

Anji said...

I'm sorry to read your news. I hope that you find your way through all of this.